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BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection (Amenity Horticulture)

Invasive & Injurious Weeds Module

We will be running a BASIS training course & exam for 7 days over a 5 week period through the winter period of 2015/2016. This course will be the Amenity Horticulture, Invasive & Injurious weeds Module.



£1,600 + VAT (includes examination fee)

Venue:                                  Lincoln Area                               


Course Times:                      TBC

To book or find out more information contact us

Lunch & refreshments will be provided. Please inform us of dietary requirements. Local accommodation can be organised if needed. Course materials will be provided although writing apparatus are required.


The Basis Certificate in Crop Protection (Amenity Horticulture) qualification is for those individuals involved in the advice, sale or supply of pesticides in the amenity industry.  This Certificate of Competence is recognised in current regulations and is, therefore effectively a ‘licence to operate’. Those covered by this includes the following sectors:


  • Contractors who sell or give advice
  • Distributors who sell or give advice
  • Pesticide manufacturers and suppliers
  • Consultants, agents, managers, specifiers and local authority managers who are involved in pesticide sales or advice



The amenity industry includes hard surface areas, turf, amenity grass and sports areas, large public and private gardens, parks, forestry, aquatic and other areas where spraying is carried out.  This can be by in-house or contract labour, private forestry companies, local authorities, motorway and other road verge maintenance, aquatic and dry areas and industrial site maintenance.  This may include amateur gardens where contractors are employed using professional products.  The control of invasive and injurious weeds is also an important area of amenity pesticide use.



Candidates must have had satisfactory training and supervised field experience before entering for the Basis examination.  New staff to the industry will be allowed a period of up to three years in which to qualify, during which they will be working under direct supervision of a qualified member of staff.



It is essential that candidates understand the need for both a practical and theoretical approach to training because in order to be successful, individuals must be able to give sound technical advice on site. 



This is a modular course and has a number of ‘core’ modules with a range of specific modules related to the interest / specialism of the candidate.


For a candidate to achieve a BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection - Amenity Horticulture they must pass the core modules and at least one other (skill) module. The skill area selected will be shown on the pass certificate. By prior arrangement and prior booking candidates may sit a second or third skill area exam at a later date. This means candidates can build up their qualifications to include additional skill areas.


Core module training would be the same for all, followed by separate skill area training.


Core modules:


  • Module 1 – Impact of amenity activities on biodiversity, the environment and water
  • Module 2 – Recognition, biology and control of weeds
  • Module 3 – Recognition, biology and control of pests
  • Module 4 - Recognition, biology and control of diseases
  • Module 5 –Composition, activity and persistence of pesticides
  • Module 6 – Application  of pesticides
  • Module 7 – Safe use, handling, transport and storage of pesticides


Skill module areas are:


  • Hard Surface Areas
  • Amenity grass and sports turf areas
  • Shrubs, borders and container plants
  • Forestry
  • Aquatics
  • Invasive and injurious weeds


Please note candidates will only be tested on the core modules and one skill area on any one exam day. Core module training would be the same for all, followed by separate skill area training.


Invasive and Injurious Weeds Module:




Develop an understanding of invasive weeds including: what they are and how they can be identified; the harm that they do; how they develop, spread and reproduce; the options available for control with recognition of differences in levels of control and cost effectiveness; the environmental implications of each control option.


Performance Criteria


Candidates will be able to:


  • Identify individual invasive weed species at each stage of growth and reproductive phase;
  • Understand the different impacts of each invasive weed species on buildings, pathways, prepared areas, waterways, unmanaged areas, development sites and the relationship to the public and the environment;
  • Understand the ways to minimise harm caused by invasive weeds;
  • Understand the options for control of invasive weeds by mechanical, structural, chemical and biological means and the merits of each;
  • Understand the relative safety issues and cost effectiveness of each control option;
  • Understand the environmental impacts of the different control options for invasive weeds;
  • Understand, in outline, other (non-weed) invasive species, which affect the UK infrastructure.


Essential Knowledge and Skills


Candidates must have the ability to:


  • Explain how best practice should be implemented for the different control options for invasive weeds having regard for operators, the public, site workers, wildlife and water safety.
  • Explain the high priority placed on maintaining water quality and an understanding of the weed control practices which must be avoided to ensure water is not polluted by weed control activities.
  • Describe which pesticide options are permitted for invasive weed control: how they work; what doses should be used and where they may or may not be used.
  • Explain the implications of cultural controls, earth moving and removal for effective invasive weed control and preventing their spread to other areas.
  • Explain the importance of the timing of the different invasive weed control options and how that affects standards of control.
  • Understand the different types of application equipment used for invasive weed control, with particular regard to types of sprayer, injection equipment, their methods of operation, including calibration and maintenance of the equipment in good condition.


  • Understand the various authorities involved with invasive weed control e.g. Environment Agency (EA) and Natural England (NE) and how their roles can affect control options.
  • Understand the various support schemes available to assist good working practices and how they are implemented e.g. National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS); National Amenity Sprayer Operator Register (NASOR) and BASIS Amenity Register (BAR).
  • Explain how to evaluate the type and severity of invasive weed control problems.
  • Explain what actions should produce an effective solution, having prior regard for the safety of the public and spray operators; biological and environmental issues; water quality and the economics of control measures.
  • Understand how pre-planning, landscaping and other elements related to the control of invasive weeds can be incorporated into control plans and recommendations so as to minimise any impact on biodiversity and to seek its enhancement where possible.
  • Understand how, at all times, there should be an integrated approach to any measures taken so as to protect environmental interests and biodiversity.



Examination Procedure to achieve an additional skill area qualification:


Once a candidate has successfully achieved the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection – Amenity Horticulture, then they may add a further skill area qualification by taking the additional skill area module.  There is no requirement to take the 7 core module elements again providing the candidate has kept up to date with their Professional Register Membership. However if candidates have not been keeping up to date on the Professional Register within 3 years of originally qualifying they will be required to re-sit the core element of the exam.